I think ^(link) therefore I err

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The NIE Report

Michelle Malkin links to the Key Judgements in the report that were released yesterday. It's only 3 1/2 pages, I suggest reading it. If not, then lucky for you I have.

First off, let me note a couple of things: After the press and Democrats about peed their pants enjoying the first conclusions and then the President released what could be, the Democrats are now requesting that the classified parts be released. From the BBC:
US Democrats have urged the Bush administration to release in full a report which finds that US involvement in Iraq has fuelled global terrorism.

What has made this assessment so important, now? That's the question at this point. In the Washington Post this morning Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus note:
Democratic claims of an administration coverup seemed less justified yesterday as it became apparent that the complete classified report had been made available to lawmakers within days of its completion in April.

Copies of the NIE were sent to the House and Senate intelligence, armed services and foreign affairs committees at the time, through normal electronic information channels available to all members, intelligence and congressional sources said. It arrived at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on April 26.

Anyway on to the report: Basically it was what you would expect. I think I could have written it as a report back in high school based on common sense. Jihadists are increasing. Big surprise. Now how to fix that. Let's look at this report from the eyes of the President's big plan. The one that notes we don't seem to get attacked by democratic countries/peoples.

They (the NIE)
assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh it's vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.

Those underlying factors are
1. Entrenched grievances
2. The Iraq "Jihad"
3. The slow pace of improvements
4. Pervasive anti-US sentiment
(Please note the complete absense under underlying factors of the existence of Israel and a certain Key leader in the Middle East who questions it's right to existence. My high school report would have added that one!)

The vulnerabilies:
1. Most Muslims don't really like Sharia
2. Muslim clerics are stepping up and condemning violence
3. Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture and kill terrorists leaders.

So Bush's plan to spread democracy will deal not only with the underlying factors,
1) we'll support democracy over friendly dictatorships, 2) once stable we'll be basically out of Iraq, 3) with democracies, there is generally institutional improvements (not guaranteed I know) and 4) anti US sentiment will always be there.
Also the plan will deal with the vulnerabilties. 1) By making clear the distinction between the west and Sharia people will need to make choices 2) Terrorists are generally blowing up Muslims because they are terrorists and civilians make easier targets than military. This will bring about more Muslim cleric condemnations and 3) the WOT goes beyond just killing leaders.

As noted in many other places, the reports says that if jihadists win in Iraq they will gain ground and more terrorists. If they lose Iraq, they will lessen their influence. That's exactly what Bush has been saying all along.

President Talibani agrees that the US should stay in Iraq.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that the US military presence in Iraq keeps neighbors from invading his country.

And President Karzai is appreciative of our staying in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Afghan President Hamid Karzai told President George W. Bush yesterday that he appreciates what the United States has done for his country, and Bush said the United States is prepared to stay the course in Afghanistan.

Because of the mere threat of removing financing from the war in Iraq yesterday by Rep. Rangel, I am going to be voting for a representative that I can't stand. Marilyn Musgrave. I would rather have this woman representing me badly than allow Democrats to take over and leave our new friends, the Iraqis to a worse fate.